12/08/2007 12:00AM

Giant Moon looks tough at low odds

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Giant Moon skipped the Remsen and instead lands in the Damon Runyon.
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The path of least resistance figures to pay off more for the connections of Giant Moon than it will his backers in Sunday's $75,000 Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-bred juveniles at Aqueduct.

After winning his first two starts, Giant Moon was being considered for the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes last month. But trainer Richard Schosberg opted to skip the race after several horses in his barn got sick. Though Giant Moon never fell ill, Schosberg opted to err on the side of caution, not wanting to compromise the early part of the colt's 3-year-old campaign.

"I'm perfectly satisfied with this - we're looking ahead,'' Schosberg said Friday. "Yeah, the [Remsen] wasn't run in a very flashy time but I think a very nice horse [Court Vision] won it. We did what we did, we're healthy, we're ready to go in here and we'll go onward from here.''

Giant Moon, a son of Giant's Causeway, won his debut at Belmont on Sept. 12 going 5 1/2 furlongs. He then stretched out to a mile and won the Sleepy Hollow by a head over Coastal Drive, also defeating the highly-regarded Big Truck. Since Giant Moon was able to handle that three-furlong stretchout in his second start, Schosberg is not leery of trying 1 1/16 miles around two turns on Sunday.

"With that pedigree I don't think that will bother him,'' said Schosberg, who trains Giant Moon for owner/breeder Al Fried. "Two turns? He goes twice around in the morning.''

Giant Moon, the co-highweight of 122 pounds, drew the rail and will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.

Giant Moon's two biggest rivals in the six-horse Damon Runyon figure to be Coastal Drive and Spanky Fischbein. Coastal Drive, claimed for $25,000 by Richard Dutrow Jr. in August, ran very well when second to Giant Moon in the Sleepy Hollow.

Spanky Fischbein, a New York stallion stakes winner going six furlongs last out, makes his first attempt around two turns. His connections look forward to stretching him out.

"I think that it might even suit him better,'' said Seth Benzel, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "The horse has no problem relaxing, seems like he'll get a distance of ground by the way he has trained.''